Lost in Automation – Successful Fulfillment Requires Both Technology and Human Interaction

This is the question – is trendiness an essential component of performance? The increase of online commerce has led to more automation and bigger warehouses, some of which come with fancy kitchens and parking for 2000 cars. But some wonder if this is really the way to better and faster service. As we move towards greater automation, personal service is getting harder to find.

Sprocket Express has a traditional (ugly) warehouse, we still pick orders by hand and real people answer our phones. But we offer same-day shipping, our accuracy is over 99.9% and our client retention rate is high because we act like partners, not robots. The ceiling isn't 100ft tall and the floor isn't roamed by autonomous forklifts, but our rates are competitive, our service is efficient, our staff is friendly. We believe personal interaction is still important in American small business and we don't want to lose the human touch.

Real people, no tickets

Technology has always been a passion of our CEO, Dan Cence. In many ways, Sprocket Express can be considered a technology company as well as an e-commerce fulfillment provider. Staying on top of technology has been a way to level the playing field for small and medium sized players in the supply chain industry. This is reflected in our proprietary portal, but our technology doesn't tell the whole story.

One of the cornerstones of our service is to offer human attention to each and every one of our clients. When you have an issue, you won’t be given a form on a website to describe it. You won’t be left wondering if someone has read your ticket, and when your ticket might be addressed.

When you contact Sprocket, you’ll reach a customer service rep. who is assigned to you, knows your business and can triage the importance of the issue. The rep. has direct influence over operations and will stay with your issue until resolved.

Lost in Automation

There is a large self-service fulfillment operation that advertises their hands-off approach as an inexpensive alternative to traditional fulfillment. However, most clients find that this service does not meet their needs. In fact, quite a few of our clients have come to us after having a bad experience with this competitor. It is impossible to overstate the importance of personal contact within the fulfillment service. You see, fulfillment is actually a very nuanced business with dozens of subtleties that smooth out through experience.

Every business needs to make an exception at some point. Whether it's a rushed order, a last-minute change, or a complex question that can't be handled in the FAQs or forum, every business can benefit from human interaction with their logistics provider.

We feel so strongly about this that we increased our staff to ensure we have enough people on hand to accommodate the changing needs of our clients. We are always just a phone call (or email) away.

Personal Service Stands Out

PC Mag ranked Sprocket Express as a top e-commerce fulfillment provider and recognized us for personal service and individualized support.

We have also been named a Multichannel Merchant Top 3PL for the past two years. This resource distinguishes us as a leading third-party logistics provider in the eCommerce marketplace.

Sprocket Express continues to support many satisfied clients over the long term. But don’t take our word for it…

“After interviewing a half a dozen fulfillment centers across the country, I decided to go with Sprocket Express. I just got the best vibe from them and I'm typically good at reading people… Fast forward 4 years later I now have 3 Shopify stores with them grossing several million dollars a year. Sprocket Express couldn't be more instrumental in growing my business! They are true partners and really care about their clients.” -Comic Book Treasures

We have invested in the human framework of our business, as well as the technology. We believe that your business is also more than a bottom line. Contact us to discuss the benefits that come with partnership.


More Resources

Fulfillment Provider Report Card
Evaluate your current provider on 5 key components of fulfillment service value to make sure you are getting your money's worth. If it's time for a change, we can help.

Interview with Dan Cence, CEO of Sprocket Express
SuperbCrew editors interviewed Dan Cence, founder and CEO of Sprocket Express, a leading third-party logistics provider in the Boston area to learn more about their unique fulfillment service. Sprocket offers something most fulfillment companies do not.

Is Your Fulfillment Helping or Hurting Customer Satisfaction?
How could a fulfillment house affect customer satisfaction? Simply put, they are the last hands to touch your products and they are responsible for delivering the final product to your customers. To see where you stand, ask yourself a few questions.